LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas local and long-time movie producer has combined almost everything needed to shoot a film into one place as Nevada makes strides in bringing more Hollywood productions to the Las Vegas Valley.
As Karl Nickoley put it, “Think of it like an aircraft carrier for the film business.”
It’s a 53-foot-long production trailer that the OnLocation CEO and managing partner said eliminates the need for each movie department to have their own individual truck.
He would know: Nickoley has spent the last 15 years producing movies, TV shows, and commercials between the movie capital of the world and the entertainment capital of the world.
“It’s basically anything outside of a soundstage, and that’s more and more being relied upon as there are not enough soundstages available, it’s very expensive to shoot, and it’s very hard to fake the Las Vegas Strip not on-location,” Nickoley said in front of the giant production vehicle Monday morning. “It’s pretty much everything you could need, except for the props and actors.”
Under one roof, he said the trailer can house 10 tons of lighting equipment, $1 million worth of camera gear, and even two prop cars on the second level. A staircase additionally leads to a second-level workspace for hair, makeup, and wardrobe purposes, on top of storage for other needed equipment.
A diesel-fueled generator produces enough electricity to “power a city block” out in the field, where he said this trailer would be most beneficial.
“’We’re way out in the middle of nowhere shooting’ kind of thing,” Nickoley said.
The CEO said the idea came to him and his brother, Scott, back in 2013 and could not become a reality until recently when they secured funding through the Bank of Nevada. The brothers declined to say how much the “multi-million dollar” project exactly cost, but they already have their first client lined up for later this Summer.
“Our primary focus to service is commercials, low-budget feature films, and more episodic television on location,” Nickoley said. “This is really supposed to streamline production, it’s supposed to cut a lot of costs for production, and it’s just supposed to be super convenient.”
The debut comes as Nevada lawmakers look to incentivize movie studios to move from California to its neighboring state. State Senator Roberta Lange (D-Las Vegas) introduced SB 496 on Thursday, which could create a film tax credit and infrastructure program to get around existing law.
If passed, it could mean $190 million in tax breaks annually until 2043, which currently has a cap in Nevada. Sony Studios indicated via a statement that it would spend up to $1 billion in production over a decade if passed in Southern Nevada.
“I got a call from Sony and Howard Hughes (Corporation) that said, ‘we’d really like to join your bill,’” Senator Lange said during a virtual interview on Thursday. “What Nevada will reap from this will be far and above what we’re asking for in this bill in tax credits.”
As Nickoley prepares to testify in front of the Nevada Committee on Revenue and Economic Development in approval of this bill, he said Las Vegas is now more ready than ever for the spotlight, especially with his trailer.
“Efficiency is the name of the game. You’re paying by the minute when it comes to film,” Nickoley said with a grin. “This would draw a ton of production our way, it also would allow us to expand our workforce.”
The next hearing for SB 496 is on Tuesday. The bill proposes two zones for potential movie studios: one at the UNLV Tech Park, located in the southwest valley on Sunset Road near Durango Drive near IKEA, and the second site in an undisclosed Summerlin location.